Hearing Loss And Noise

Prolonged noise exposure is a leading cause of progressive and most often permanent hearing loss. It is usually progressive over a long period of time, however even sudden short bursts of sounds over 90 decibels (dB) can have an impact. Permanent hearing loss can occur in as little as 15 minutes with exposure to certain sounds and almost instantly with unprotected exposure to sounds generated from firearms and certain power tools.

The following information can be used as a guide to determining hazardous noise levels.

Noise Level (dB) Hazardous Exposure Limit Activity
150 dB Less than 15 minutes Most firearms, firecracker
140 dB Less than 15 minutes Jet engine, rifle blast
130 dB Less than 15 minutes Jackhammer
120 dB 15 minutes Sirens, amplified rock band
115 dB 15 minutes Sand blasting
110 dB 30 minutes Woodworking, rock concert
105 dB 1 hour Sporting events, concert band
100 dB 2 hours Pneumatic drill, chainsaw
95 dB 4 hours Motorcycle
90 dB 8 hours Lawn mower, shop tools

If you are exposed to any sounds above 90 dB, you need to take immediate action to prevent permanent hearing damage.

The good news is noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented! The use of high fidelity custom earplugs reduces the risk of hearing damage from noise in the workplace, loud music at concerts, sudden gun blasts, power tools, motorcycles, venues such as air shows, athletic events and motor sports. See information on Custom Ear and Hearing Protection.